Claremont, Calif. - Pomona-Pitzer scored the first six goals of the second half to build a 9-3 lead and held off a late Whittier rally for a 9-7 win on Wednesday to take over sole possession of first place in the SCIAC in a battle of SCIAC unbeatens.
Senior Mark Hudnall (Los Altos, Calif. - pictured scoring goal in third quarter) led the Sagehens with three goals, as they improve to 9-12 overall and 5-0 in the SCIAC, including 9-1 since an 0-11 start (with all 11 games coming against opponents ranked in the top 20 nationally). Whittier falls to 10-12 overall and 5-1 in the SCIAC with the loss.
Hudnall and senior Jason Cox (Arnold, Md.) scored second quarter goals to give the Sagehens a 3-1 lead, but Whittier answered back with goals from Goran Mataic and Cameron Rehm to tie the score at the half, as Cox hit the crossbar on the final shot in the closing seconds.
However, the second half was all Sagehens as they scored the first six goals, and then withstood a harmless Whittier 4-0 rally in the final 2:36 after emptying the bench. Freshman Phillip Clayman (Clovis, Calif.) started the run with the tiebreaking goal just 38 seconds into the second half. Sophomore Stephen Vint (El Cajon, Calif.) stretched the lead to 5-3 with a breakaway goal on a counter, and Hudnall scored with 3:05 left on a man-up goal to make the score 6-3 after three quarters.
Cox and Hudnall scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to 8-3 with 3:49 remaining, and junior Dylan O'Connell (River Forest, Ill.) added another one with 3:01 remaining when he lobbed a shot under the crossbar with the shot clock expiring.
Whittier tacked on four straight goals, the last three coming from Douglas Marriott, to make the score 9-7 with 40 seconds left. The Poets got the ball back one last time with 18 seconds remaining, but Pomona-Pitzer goalie Tyler Hill (Lafayette, Calif.) stole an entry pass in the closing seconds to officially end the game.
Hill finished with eight saves for the Sagehens, who return to action this weekend for two road matches on Saturday, at UC San Diego at 11 a.m. and at Caltech at 7 p.m.
MEN'S WATER POLO SCORING SUMMARY
(Haldeman Pool - Claremont, Calif.)
Pomona-Pitzer 9, Whittier 7
1 2 3 4 F
WC 1 2 0 4 7
PP 1 2 3 3 9
Qtr. Time No. Player (School) Score
1 5:08 13 Goran Mataic (WC) 0-1
1 3:15 13 Clayton Hardman (PP) 1-1
2 7:33 16 Mark Hudnall (PP) 2-1
2 3:16 4 Jason Cox (PP) 3-1
2 2:27 13 Goran Mataic (WC) 3-2
2 1:07 9 Cameron Rehm (WC) 3-3
3 7:22 18 Phillip Clayman (PP) 4-3
3 4:04 3 Stephen Vint (PP) 5-3
3 3:05 16 Mark Hudnall (PP) 6-3
4 6:10 4 Jason Cox (PP) 7-3
4 3:49 16 Mark Hudnall (PP) 8-3
4 3:01 7 Dylan O'Connell (PP) 9-3
4 2:36 2 Erick Bonander (WC) 9-4
4 1:43 6 Douglas Marriott (WC) 9-5
4 1:02 6 Douglas Marriott (WC) 9-6
4 0:40 6 Douglas Marriott (WC) 9-7